World History Collection Development Policy


The purpose of the world history collection development policy is to provide guidelines for the acquisition of materials in the field of world history, except U.S. History.


The UCSB Library world history collection’s primary intent is to develop a research level collection that supports the undergraduate and graduate level world history curriculum offerings of the UCSB History Department and the teaching and research needs of the faculty. Primary users of the collection are students, faculty and other members of the campus community doing research or seeking information on a topic in or relating to world history.

The UCSB History Department offers an undergraduate major and minor, and an M.A. degree en route to a Ph.D. Two undergraduate degree programs are available: the traditional B.A. in history and the UCSB pioneered B.A. in the history of public policy. The history of public policy degree combines comparative studies in history with studies in related academic disciplines. Two M.A./PhD programs are offered: a traditional program leading to teaching careers in higher and secondary education and a public historical studies designed to prepare historians for careers as researchers and writers in the community at large (i.e. museums and heritage sites, businesses, non-profit groups, public agencies, private foundations and other places). The UCSB History Department offers doctoral study in eleven general fields with world history directly supporting eight.


Subject Coverage

Materials on all issues topics events and peoples within the interdisciplinary field of world history are collected, including social economic, political and cultural histories. Emphasis is placed on those materials which the UCSB History Department’s world history course offerings and the faculty’s research interests. The world history department supports the research and scholarship needs of the Latin American & Iberian Studies Department, Cultural Studies Department, East Asian Studies, Middles Eastern Department and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. These include:

Types of Materials

Both scholarly and mainstream works from academic and trade publishers are acquired. Monographs and serials form the largest part of the collection. Subscriptions to new journals are acquired after careful review by the World History Collection Manager and when necessary in consultation with the History faculty. Reference materials, indexes and abstracts are purchased extensively. Relevant electronic resources, including online databases and full text materials are also acquired as appropriate. Unpublished thesis and dissertations from other institutions, facsimiles, early editions and newspapers are acquired on a highly selective basis and upon faculty request. The Government Documents Librarian acquires government publications. Microform sets and audio-visual materials are also sought for the collection as appropriate. In the past, expensive microform sets have been purchased collectively through the University of California History Consortia.

The following types of materials are not ordinarily collected: textbooks, minor revisions and reprints of works. Materials in the following physical formats are not ordinarily purchased: cheap paperback editions, 19th and 20th century materials on poor quality paper, unless this is the only format available, and microcard editions.


Primarily English language publications are acquired. Although, materials in Slavic languages, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and other Asian languages are acquired in consultation with faculty working in these areas and the East Asian Studies Librarian, however, all languages are considered.

Chronological Limits

Publications about all periods of World History are collected equally as they become available.

Geographical Limits

The history of all regions of the world are generally collected: exceptions are U.S. History, which is collected by the U.S. History Librarian, Latin America and Iberia, which are collected by the Latin American Studies Librarian, and Middle Eastern materials, which are acquired by the Middle Eastern Studies Librarian.


It is recognized that other library subject selectors regularly purchase materials important to the study of world history. For example, Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology, Classics, Religious Studies and Science and the Ethnic and Gender studies collectors often purchase world history materials. The subject selectors work collaboratively to ensure all interdisciplinary needs are net.

Only one copy of a work is generally purchased. The various collection coordinators work collaboratively to ensure all interdisciplinary needs are met. Multiple copies are added only after careful consideration of need.


The holdings of all libraries of the University of California are available through MELVYL and interlibrary loan.

University of California U.S. and British History/Women's Studies Consortia

The British History collection development consortia is composed of librarians from the UC campuses who are responsible for developing and managing collections in British and Commonwealth History. The purpose is to collaborate and coordinate efforts in acquiring and providing access to library resources in history. The combination of steadily increasing prices for library material, static acquisitions budgets, and growing output of published research sources requires us to move beyond traditional methods of collection development to continue to adequately support teaching and scholarship in British History. Specific goals of the consortia can be viewed online.

British Journals Project of the UC British History Consortia.

The British Journals Project ensures that major journals in the field of British and Commonwealth history will be available to scholars and students in the University of California Libraries. Active participants in this agreement are member libraries UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Los Angeles, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Stanford University.

Under the agreement, each library made a commitment to retain its current subscription for five years to a number of journals that are currently held by four or fewer of the libraries. In the current agreement, effective June 1994, specific campuses have taken responsibility for maintaining the last subscription to the journals held by four or fewer campuses, should others choose to cancel. This supplements the list of Core Journals the in British History held by most campuses and therefore not under cooperative agreement at this time. All Consortium members have full access to articles in these journals through interlibrary loan of photocopies and when circumstances warrant, complete issues or bound volumes. The list of journals in agreement can be viewed online.

Center for Research Libraries

The UCSB library is a voting member of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL). The Center for Research Libraries, CRL, is an international not-for-profit consortium of college and university libraries that makes scholarly resources available to member libraries everywhere. CRL is governed by the major research libraries of North America and is funded by fees, grants and contributions. Open to scholars and researchers, its outstanding collections include more than five million volumes of research materials rarely held in North American libraries.

It is an established practice among UC Subject Collectors to base significant collection development decisions on the fact that as CRL members we can provide access to needed expensive specialized materials. Subject Collectors weigh every decision to add major microform sets against CRL’s holdings. The UC Library rely almost exclusively on CRL for access to foreign dissertations and foreign government publications.


Author: ctucker [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Chimene Tucker)
Policy Last Updated: November 2006